Multiple structure fires under investigation

Published 8:55 am Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department recently responded to multiple structure fires within a seven-day period, with a total of four of the five incidents occurring under suspicious circumstances.

Sunshine Fire Chief Steven Hatfield talked about the fires in a telephone interview on Thursday.

“We’ve had five fires, of course one of those was unrelated,” Hatfield explained. “We had one in Sunshine that appears to be an accidental fire.”

Hatfield explained four of the five structure fires share circumstances.

“We have had one in Cawood right across from Cawood Elementary School,” Hatfield said. “We had it last week on Tuesday morning. It didn’t have electricity and the cause of the fire appears to be of a suspicious nature.”

According to Hatfield, other fires also appear suspicious.

“The next one we had would have been Saturday afternoon in the Pope Hill area of Catrons Creek,” Hatfield said. “The structure didn’t have electricity; it also appears to be suspicious.”

Of the four suspicious fires, two occurred in the Pansy area.

“Saturday night, we had another structure fire on Noe Branch Road at Pansy,” Hatfield said. “It also was a home without electricity and the cause was of a suspicious nature.”

Just a couple days later, the Sunshine Fire Department responded to another structure fire in Pansy which also had suspicious origins, Hatfield said. The second Pansy fire was located at Pansy Loop.

“It was also a home with no electricity,” Hatfield said.

The four suspicious fires are under investigation, Hatfield said.

Hatfield explained two of the structures were owned by people who are deceased, and the identity of the owner of the Pope Hill structure was unclear at the time of the interview.

Hatfield explained the structures not having electricity or any viable ignition points led to the fires being considered suspicious.

“Having no electricity takes out most of the ignition factors,” Hatfield explained.

All of the structures appear to be a total loss due to the damages caused by the fires.